Thank you for allowing us to assist you with this problem.
Im sorry to hear you and your children are dealing with this problem but the first thing you should do is retain a matrimonial/divorce attorney. You can raise the issue of abandonment but that alone will not be a large factor in your question because it has not been a long period of time.
The court shall presume that an equal division of the marital property between the parties is just and reasonable. However, this presumption may be rebutted by a party who presents relevant evidence, including evidence concerning the following factors, that an equal division would not be just and reasonable:
(1) The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the property, regardless of whether the contribution was income producing.
(2) The extent to which the property was acquired by each spouse before the marriage or through inheritance or gift.
(3) The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the disposition of the property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family residence or the right to dwell in the family residence for such periods as the court considers just to the spouse having custody of any children.
(4) The conduct of the parties during the marriage as related to the disposition or dissipation of their property.
(5) The earnings or earning ability of the parties as related to a final division of property and a final determination of the property rights of the parties.
In Indiana, the court shall consider all relevant factors when making a custody award, including the following:
(1) The age and sex of the child.
(2) The wishes of the child’s parents.
(3) The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.
(4) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with: (A) the child’s parents; (B) the child’s siblings; and (C) any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
(5) The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
(7) Evidence of a pattern of domestic or family violence by either parent.
(8) Evidence that the child has been cared for by a de facto custodian.
So when you are talking to your lawyer if you retain one or if you represent yourself in court remember that these are the factors the court will consider and try to stay focused on these points because those are what the court will consider.